I posted a piano sonata the other day and said it would probably be the last bit of music for the year. Not so! With this blog winding up in a couple of days (at least this stage of it) I’m having a tidy-up. So this little piano piece should be the last of the music. It really is me just being a bit silly.
The Haydn Minuet is from the second movement of a Haydn Piano Sonata in E minor (I’ve changed the key in this arrangement). And the variation uses a scale by the 20th century German/American composer Arnold Schoenberg. Some enterprising teacher might use it to illustrate some of the differences between music of the Classical era, and music of the mid-20th century.
Octavia Pankhurst Gorring-Wilson had a mission in life. It was a calling; a vocation, if you wish. Octavia Pankhurst Gorring-Wilson was one of those relatively rare beings: a feminist musicologist. Her mission in life was to get banned every skerrick of music written in sonata form.
There was good reason for it. For too long Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and most composers since, had got away with blue murder. Not murder exactly; but they had disguised their misogynist bigotries in veils of invisibility.
Everything in sonata form – sonatas themselves, and most symphonies, concertos… – all followed the same course: they were designed for patriarchal subjugation and domestication of the feminine.
This may need a little explaining, but Octavia Pankhurst Gorring-Wilson delighted in explaining. A sonata has two tunes; each in its own key. The first tune is masculine and the second tune is feminine. BUT by the end of the sonata the feminine tune is in the same key as the male tune. The SHE has been vanquished. The female has been made to sing in the same key as the male. She has been made to stand henceforth at the kitchen sink. She has been cruelly subjugated by these composers who don’t and didn’t give a tiddlywink about women’s issues, but walk roughshod over the aspirations of half of society.
Octavia Pankhurst Gorring-Wilson was all for banning ALL music and starting again. Good luck, Octavia.